London Lupercalia*

Cold and wind and rain. So just a typical February foreshore visit then. There was a little bit of feasting in the Portuguese cafe after our visit, but it wasn’t particularly riotous. Still, someone has been having fun.


Today we were forecast a low tide of 0.31, not super-low, but not bad. I wasn’t hopeful though, as the river had been running very high this week and there have been numerous flood warnings in force. This chart is the forecast level (light blue) against the actual level (dark blue).

low tide 13th February

Oh well, I thought that I’d better have a little look in any case, and I was joined by Ann @CamberwickKid, which was nice (Roger is in Wales. Which is also nice).

As  expected the low tide was half-way up the foreshore so there was no possibility of seeing any of the mesolithic timbers. We couldn’t see much else either, but there were a few instances of notable erosion that I can show.

We walked down to the bronze age structure. Most of it was still under water but three timbers were (only just) exposed.

There is a lot of ‘movement of sediments’ around here and with this timber, it’s pretty easy to tell that around 5cm have been relatively recently exposed. You can see whee the river action has been wearing away the upper portion of the timber.


As the foreshore pebbles are moved around a lot,  we’re seeing a lot more of the ground surface and peat around the timbers. This one is becoming increasingly prominent.


And the surface around the Time Team timber continues to drop and the timber itself is being eroded.


And even the Duck slipway provides us with evidence that the foreshore level is dropping, particularly down near the low-water line.


So we couldn’t really see much this time but we do have a new feature being uncovered. Just near the slipway is what looks like a base made of timbers bolted together at the corners.


Yet another ‘box structure’!


*Lupercalia was a festival celebrated in the Roman period (and probably earlier) at this time of year. It’s aim was to cleanse and purify the city, ensuring health and fertility.


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